Odd balls…

Bex Law 6 November 2009

Bex Law takes a sideways look at the world of sport

Top Spin

This week’s sports headlines have been dominated by tennis star Andre Agassi. Among some shocking revelations in his autobiography, Open, the Telegraph reported on something extremely serious: Agassi said he was left distracted, embarrassed, saying it was’ like a chain’ and an ‘iron ball’ on my life.

He was talking, of course, about his wig. It transpires that during the 1990s the long lion-mane hairstyle that became iconic, was, in fact, fake. Agassi admitted that he was so distracted by thoughts of the hairpiece falling off that he lost his first ever Grand Slam final.

Holy Basketballs Batman!

Continuing with our American Theme Manu Ginobili, basketball player for the San Antonio Spurs, showcased his incredible reactions on Saturday night.

The Huffington Post reported a suitably Halloween themed twist to the game as a bat swooped into the AT&T Centre and stopped play by flying around the court. Ginobili pulled an incredible trick out of the bag as he swatted the bat out of the air with his bare hands. The court erupted in with cheers as he carried the dead bat off the court to the ‘Batman’ theme tune.

Ice Strippers

Strip Poker is world famous, strip mah-jong is apparently taking off courtesy of Japanese software companies, but strip ice-hockey recently got a junior ice hockey team banned from an Idaho ice-rink.

Journalists for The Metro reported that the Idaho Junior Steelheads received a four day ban after a ‘strip-hockey’ practice. For each shot missed the players had to remove an item of clothing.

One player, who was having a particularly bad day, ended up removing his underwear, a brave decision considering the icy conditions! These shenanigans received a frosty reception from a parent whose young daughter was on an adjacent rink and the police are investigating whether Idaho decency laws were broken during the incident.

Belated Better Bogs

In Poland decency and cleanliness are of the utmost concern. Two-person patrols are looking into the state of the loos across the country ahead of Euro 2012.  Flushed with the success of the 2012 Euro bid a toilet equipment manufacturer set up the toilet checking project which aims to ensure the country will not be caught short when thousands of fans visit Poland and Ukraine for the Football tournament.

Reuter’s journalists have reported that so far the patrols have covered 200 toilets and found that lots of the loos dating back to the Communist days are in dire need of renovation.

A survey among foreign tourists has indicated that the facilities at hotels and airports are good but railway and bus stations lag behind.

Elysees Links

Last week The Cambridge Student reported on the World’s longest golf course in Australia. This week it transpires that golfing enthusiasts will take golf to quirky levels in the Northern hemisphere as well.

Street golf has really taken off in Paris. There’s not a fairway in sight as the players replace the traditional course for narrow streets and church squares. The BBC reports that hazards include cobble stones, lampposts and pedestrians!

One Parisian player clearly felt that the BBC needed an idiots guide to the aims of the game stating ‘he’s hit it in-that’s good’ and ‘since it’s not a real golf course we have to pay attention to passersby when we swing.’

The man then explained that special balls were used so no one could be hurt but that they had to ‘think about where the ball is landing so people aren’t scared by it.’

Bex Law